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Offshore wind farms are projected to impact primary production and bottom water deoxygenation in the North Sea  

Author:  | Environment, Germany

Abstract – The wind wake effect of offshore wind farms affects the hydrodynamic conditions in the ocean, which has been hypothesized to impact marine primary production. So far only little is known about the ecosystem response to wind wakes under the premises of large offshore wind farm clusters. Here we show, via numerical modeling, that the associated wind wakes in the North Sea provoke large-scale changes in annual primary production with local changes of up to ±10% not only at the offshore wind farm clusters, but also distributed over a wider region. The model also projects an increase in sediment carbon in deeper areas of the southern North Sea due to reduced current velocities, and decreased dissolved oxygen inside an area with already low oxygen concentration. Our results provide evidence that the ongoing offshore wind farm developments can have a substantial impact on the structuring of coastal marine ecosystems on basin scales.

Ute Daewel, Naveed Akhtar, Nils Christiansen, Institute for Coastal Systems – Analysis and Modelling, Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Geesthacht, Germany
Corinna Schrum, Institute of Oceanography, Centrum für Erdsystemforschung und Nachhaltigkeit, Universität Hamburg, Germany

Download original document: “Offshore wind farms are projected to impact primary production and bottom water deoxygenation in the North Sea

This material is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this material resides with the author(s). As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Queries e-mail.

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